Think back to the last time you searched for a product on Amazon, Target, or any other reputable B2C website. More likely than not, you were served a series of product recommendations during your site visit based on your browsing history. These recommendations are usually found under headlines like “Customers with your search history also bought:” or “Based on your browsing history,” and generally feature other relevant items aligned with your interests. For example, if you’ve been searching for “Game of Thrones” on Amazon, you’re probably going to see callouts to books two through five, or the HBO series on DVD.
Unsurprisingly, content displayed in these sidebars is more likely to see action than your average, untargeted promotional content. Why? Because today’s buyers are looking for that kind of personalized sales experience, and anything less won’t cut it.
While this might make marketing’s job more difficult, it’s not outside of our means to bring the personalized selling techniques of B2C to B2B. With tools like marketing automation, you can tailor the web experience to each individual buyer, all through the use of an important feature we like to call dynamic content.
What is dynamic content?
To put it in laymen’s terms, dynamic content is HTML content on your website, forms, landing pages, or emails that changes based on the viewer. As people match the criteria you set for your dynamic content (like an industry, job title, or even a score or grade), a variation of content will display that’s relevant to that viewer. For example, a national retailer could have their “locations” page only provide the three closest stores to a viewer’s location. A B2B firm, on the other hand, could use dynamic content on their case studies page to highlight the most relevant content based on each viewer’s industry.
The most common example of dynamic content is a personalized greeting on a mass email, where a recipient’s name is retrieved from a contact database and inserted into the email. But dynamic content can (and should) be used for so much more. Let’s take a look!
How can I use it?
1. Personalize your emails…
…And personalize them well beyond the email’s salutation. Dynamic content can be used for both prospect and client communications, in a monthly newsletter, webinar blast, or other marketing-related email. For example, a newsletter can display upcoming events based on the recipient’s location. A webinar email sent to a list of prospects can serve up beginner, intermediate, or advanced topics based on a prospect’s score or interests.
2. Tailor the web experience.
As discussed in the paragraphs above, dynamic content is a powerful tool for personalizing the web experience.
Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests. (Janrain & Harris Interactive)
Use your identified web visitors’ demographic information and activity data to display website content that will speak to them. Know what industry they’re in? Display a series of client logos from the same industry on your homepage, instead of a random assortment.
3. Enhance your landing pages.
Dynamic content is equally useful on landing pages, and can be used above or below the form on your page, in the body content, for images and more. Again, use what you know about your prospects to create a landing page that’s as tailored to their individual situation as possible.
4. Increase form effectiveness.
You want as many form conversions as possible, right? Unfortunately, conversion is ultimately in the hands of your prospects, but there are ways you can optimize your forms to increase the likelihood of a submission. If you’re using a marketing automation tool, use progressive profiling to display new form fields each time a prospect submits a form, instead of having them enter repeat information. By limiting your forms to only 3-4 new form fields, you’re giving your forms the best chance at success.
You can also use dynamic content in the form’s Thank You content, which allows you to redirect prospects to unique content after a form submission based on the value they submit in the form field.
What other ways can you use dynamic content? Share your thoughts in the comments!